ERIC Number: EJ824281
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Concepts of Self-Rated Health: Specifying the Gender Difference in Mortality Risk
Deeg, Dorly J. H.; Kriegsman, Didi M. W.
Gerontologist, v43 n3 p376-386 Jun 2003
Purpose: This study addresses the question of how the relation between self-rated health (SRH) and mortality differs between genders. In addition to the general question, four specific concepts of SRH are distinguished: SRH in comparison with age peers, SRH in comparison with one's own health 10 years ago, and current and future health perceptions. For these concepts, the gender-specific risks of mortality were evaluated for a short and a longer follow-up period. Design and Methods: Baseline and mortality data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (N = 1917, initial ages 55-85 years) were used. Mortality risks were evaluated in Cox regression models at 3 and 7.5 years of follow-up, both adjusted for age and for sociodemographic characteristics, indicators of functional and mental health, lifestyle, and social involvement. All SRH measures were scaled from 1 (positive) to 5 (negative). Results: Baseline correlations between SRH concepts were similar for men and women. After 3 years, 12% of the men and 7% of the women had died; after 7.5 years, these percentages were 27 and 15, respectively. In fully adjusted models, current health perceptions predicted 3-year mortality in men (risk ratio of 1.33). At 7.5 years, mortality in men was predicted by current health perceptions and by SRH compared with age peers (risk ratios of 1.25 and 1.23, respectively). In women, no SRH concept predicted either 3-year or 7.5-year mortality. Implications: SRH was a predictor of mortality only in men, not in women. The gender difference showed most clearly at longer follow-up, in the SRH concept "comparison with age peers."
Descriptors: Females, Physical Health, Risk, Gender Differences, Males, Older Adults, Longitudinal Studies, Comparative Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A